[b-hebrew] Compound Words in Hebrew

Eduard C Hanganu eddhanganu at hotmail.com
Mon Jun 28 13:41:24 EDT 2004

Dear Peter:

The problem I have with Bible interpreters, generally, is that most of us 
attempt to decide what the meaning of a text is before we perform the 
research on the passage and its context. For me the discovery always begins 
with the text. An exegesis of the text and its understanding certainly would 
clarify most issues. On the other hand, beginning with a supposed meaning 
before exegesis always leads to misinterpretation, with the forcing of our 
ideas on the text.

The problems remains for me: is EREB-BOQUER a compound word, a nominal 
phrase that has an unitarian meaning (a 24 hour period), or an expression 
similar to the descriptions of the days in the book of Genesis: V IHI EREB V 
IHI BOQUER (Gen 1:5). As I know that EREB-BOQUER is a hapax I incline to 
believe that it is at least a compound word or a nominal phrase with an 
unitarian meaning.

What do you think?



From: Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya.org>
To: "George F. Somsel" <gfsomsel at juno.com>
CC: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Compound Words in Hebrew
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 09:01:21 -0700

On 28/06/2004 08:57, George F. Somsel wrote:

>On June 28, 2004 Peter Kirk wrote:
>  On 28/06/2004 07:34, George F. Somsel wrote:
> >/ ...
>/>/That is one way of handling the problem.  Since, however, it is 
>/>/conceded that the Book of Daniel was an ex eventu (or at least
>/>/contemporaneus) writing, it would be surprising to find him making such 
>/>/mistake.  My inclination is to accept that he knew whereof he spoke.
>/>/ />
> >But this compounds the backwardness of your argument. You presuppose
> >that Daniel was writing ex eventu and on that basis derive Hebrew
> >lexical principles? Anyway your presupposition is far from generally
> >conceded. It seems to me that it is accepted mainly by those who
> >presuppose that genuine predictive prophecy is impossible, and are
> >prepared to reject as a deliberate lie the explicit statement in verse 1
> >dating this vision to the third year of Belshazzar.
>  I would not say that my proposal involves any assumption that predictive 
>prophecy is IMPOSSIBLE.  If one believes in God, then it would seem he can 
>do whatever he jolly well pleases.  It rather observes that this is not the 
>customary fashion in which God acts and that there is no reason to 
>presuppose that he has changed his modus operandi.  I therefore assume that 
>this is a very human manner of speaking about events under the aegis of a 
>faith in God who controls all things.
>  You, on the other hand, have a priori assumed that God has changed his 
>mode of operation, that the events described happened precisely as they are 
>depicted, and that this is a case of predictive prophecy.  You do allow 
>that if they did not happen as depicted then he was a false prophet.  
>Therefore, I ask you "Where is your six year period?"  Or do you concede 
>that this was not a compound word describing a unitary object?

No, I haven't assumed anything. I have suggested an alternative explanation 
which cannot be ruled out a priori, that a man called Daniel saw a vision in 
the time of Belshazzar which he genuinely believed to be a vision from God 
and a prediction of a period of perhaps a bit more than six years (or 
perhaps just a bit more than three years, I am open on the lexical issue). 
Whether or not this prophecy was genuine, whether it has already been 
fulfilled (perhaps in events not recorded), or might yet be fulfilled in the 
future, is all irrelevant as far as I am concerned to the linguistic 
question and so should be kept in a separate domain (probably off this list) 
where it belongs.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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